Project:  Race and Genetics



Exclusive GeneWatch Preview:  A Review of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance

 CRG Files Landmark Brief with US Supreme Court Challenging, on Racial Justice Grounds, Collection of DNA upon Arrest

New Book from CRG on Race and Genetics

Listen to the Author's Interview



CRG's diverse program on genetics and race ranges from the creation of briefing papers to community workshops around the country which provide educational resources to racial justice advocates on specific areas where genetics and race intersect. Some areas addressed in our program include:

  • Racialized Medicine and BiDil
  • Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System and in Forensic DNA Databanks and their Impacts on Populations of Color
  • Historical and Current Conceptions of Race
  • Race as a Social Construct Without Basis in Biological Reality
  • Genes, Race and Intelligence
  • Role of Genetics in Reinscribing the Concept of Race into Science
  • Race and Ancestry Tests: What They Tell Us. 

Special Issue of GeneWatch on Race and Genetics, 2009

CRG's Forums on Race and Genetics


   Oakland Forum, 2009:        1    2   3   4   5   6   7   8
   New York City Forum, 2009:   1   2   3   4   5   6


Sex, Race, and IQ: Off Limits? by Sharon Begley, Newsweek, April 2009.

Emotional Truth by Patricia Williams, The Nation 2006

Genetically Speaking by Patricia Williams, The Nation, 2005

The Short Life of a Race Drug, CRG Board Chair, Sheldon Krimsky, in Lancet

Natural Selection, the Human Genome and the Idea of Race
by Robert Pollack, PhD

Ancestry Testing and DNA: Uses, Limits - and Caveat Emptor by Troy Duster, PhD

BiDil and Racialized Medicine by Jonathan Kahn, PhD, JD

Race, Genes and Intelligence
by Pilar N. Ossorio, PhD, JD

The Elusive Variability of Race
by Patricia J. Williams, JD

A Short History of the Race Concept
by Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH

Race and Genetics by Ruth Hubbard, PhD

Confusions About Human Races by R.C. Lewontin, PhD

Additional Materials:

Race and Genetics:  A Powerpoint Presentation, by Sheldon Krimsky, PhD 2010

Conceptualizing Human Variation, Nature Genetics 2004

The Persistence of Racial Thinking and the Myth of Racial Divergence, American Anthropologist, 1997

Race and Forensic DNA Databases:

The racial disparity in criminal arrests and convictions in the United States—especially felony drug offenses— is echoed and potentially exaggerated in DNA databases. 

Special Issue of GeneWatch on DNA Databanks and Race

Racial Disparities in Databanking of DNA Profiles by Michael T. Risher

The racial and civil liberties issues associated with these databases were the topics of a conference sponsored by CRG in June of 2008.  The event, titled Forensic DNA Databanks and Race: Issues, Abuses and Actions, brought together scientists, scholars, and racial justice activists.  Several keynote speakers also submitted full-length papers.  These landmark works are featured below:

DRUG ARRESTS AND DNA: Building Jim Crow’s Database by Harry G. Levine, Jon B. Gettman, Craig Reinarman and Deborah Peterson Small

Prejudice, Stigma and DNA Databases by Helen Wallace, GeneWatch UK

DNA Dragnets and Race: Larger Social Context, History and Future by Troy Duster

Can DNA 'Witness' Race?:  Forensic Uses of an Imperfect Ancestry Testing Technology by Duana Fullwiley


GeneWatch: Current Issue
Lobbying and propaganda around gene drive technologies threaten to erode public trust in science. By Christophe Bo√ęte
Review of the film A Dangerous Idea: Eugenics, Genetics and the American Dream. By Jaydee Hanson
Book review: Making Sense of Genes by Kostas Kampourakis. By Stuart A. Newman
GeneWatch: Archives